7 health systems with strong finances

Here are seven hospitals and health systems with strong operational metrics and solid financial positions, according to reports from Fitch Ratings, Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. Hospital and health system names were compiled from credit rating reports and are listed in alphabetical order.

1. Dover, Del.-based Bayhealth Medical Center has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The system, which includes two hospital campuses, has ample liquidity, strong operating results, light leverage and is the market leader in its service area, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects Bayhealth Medical Center to sustain strong operating margins and maintain health liquidity, despite the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

2. Children's Hospital of Orange (Calif.) County has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The 333-bed pediatric hospital has a healthy liquidity position, and it is a market share lead for pediatric services in Orange County, Fitch said. The hospital's balance sheet provides financial flexibility to weather the operating pressures tied to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the credit rating agency. 

3. Edison, N.J.-based Hackensack Meridian Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch and an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The health system has a strong financial profile and a solid market position in a large service area, Fitch said. The credit rating agency expects the system to produce strong operating performance after the COVID-19 pandemic. 

4. Houston Methodist has an "AA" rating and stable outlook with S&P. The system, which comprises an academic medical center and six community hospitals, has a strong enterprise profile and a history of excellent margins and cash flow, S&P said. The credit rating agency said Houston Methodist is well positioned to withstand the pressures from COVID-19. 

5. Broomfield, Colo.-based SCL Health has an "AA-" rating and stable outlook with Fitch. The system has a track record of exceptional operations, consistent improvement in unrestricted liquidity levels and significant financial flexibility, Fitch said. The credit rating agency said SCL Health is well positioned to manage the pressures of COVID-19, having built up cash reserves.

6. Texas Children's Hospital in Houston has an "Aa2" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The hospital has healthy liquidity, robust fundraising abilities and strong patient demand, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects the hospital will be able to maintain current operating levels and ample liquidity. 

7. York, Pa.-based WellSpan has an "Aa3" rating and stable outlook with Moody's. The eight-hospital system has strong liquidity and a leading market position across several counties in central Pennsylvania, Moody's said. The credit rating agency expects the health system will maintain solid days cash on hand and will return to pre-COVID-19 margins. 

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